Back from the brink: C.W. Williams Health Center sees a brighter future

Published: May. 20, 2016 at 7:36 PM EDT|Updated: May. 20, 2016 at 8:15 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Several months ago, the C.W. Williams Health Center in West Charlotte was on the brink of closing. New leadership at the west Charlotte healthcare facility, which supports low-income clients, has put back on a track of success.

Debbie Weeks, who leads the center, said her mission was to turn things around.

"So we had to re-engage the community to let the community know that not only are we open, but it's a new day," Weeks said.

The new day at C.W. Williams means a fresh round of federal dollars from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

District 12 congresswoman Alma Adams helped secure needed funding at time when the health center was at the crossroads of change.

"I'm proud today to announce that the center has been awarded a more than 1.4 million dollar federal grant," she said.

Coming on board last year, Executive Director Weeks inherited an operation that was in bankruptcy, under tough IRS scrutiny and had clients in need.

"I tout myself a troubleshooter. I love to look at something that I can take apart and pull back together again," Weeks told WBTV.

Job changes left Nathan Smalls, who attended the funding announcement, without healthcare coverage.

"I was also diagnosed with type two diabetes, and became very ill and very sick and didn't have a place to turn," he said. "The quality of healthcare is no different than what you'll get at a top facility - and that was important to me."

Partnerships are allowing the center to fight for another day. Named after the late Doctor C.W. Williams, the pharmacy on the first floor is the dispensary for needed meds, but a new round of services will soon come upstairs in the form of dental care.

"We've changed the culture of the environment where people can come in and feel welcomed," Weeks said, "and feel like they're getting quality care in a private doctors office."

The center already has a waiting list of more than 300 seeking dental care services.

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